Member Uncertain About Lead Paint Legislation
From El Diario
April 6, 2003
By Fernando Aquino
Among the ten Hispanic council members, the only one who has not
supported legislation on lead poisoning is Erik Malave Dilan, who
represents District 37 in Brooklyn.
In a phone conversation, Dilan told us on Friday that he simply
is not signing among the sponsors of the bill, Intro101, but that
he is waiting for the process to finish.
This degree of patience on the part of Dilan has come to the attention
of the legislations promoters, especially since his district
is in the area with the most lead poisoning incidents, representing
43 percent of new cases.
According to a Common Cause study, Dilans reason for not
supporting the law is similar to that of Speaker Gifford Miller:
According to the study, during the 2001 campaign Dilan was supported
by the real estate industry. Of the 20 large donations that he received,
15 came from people linked to this industry. Seven of these donations
were collected by the intermediary John Doyle, who works for the
Real Estate Board of New York. Of the 12 donations of more than
$1000 that his campaign reported, 10 were from the real estate sector.
In total, Dilan received more than $7,900 from members of the Rent
Stabilization Association and the Real Estate Board of New York
in 2001, and $1,750 from other committees with interest in this
sector. The study indicates that Dilan has spoke emphatically against
the new law.
Dilan didnt deny that he has received money from the real
estate industry, but he said that there is no connection between
the money and his decision not to support the law.
For the moment, the council member considers that the current law,
Intro 38, is working. With this law, there has been a reduction
of new cases by 60 percent, he emphasized.
History Repeats Itself
The influence of the real estate sector among New York politicians
has been great. The sector doesnt shy from filling the pockets
of those who guarantee to protect their interests with legislation.
There are the cases of ex-mayor Rudolph Giuliani, who received
hundreds of thousands of dollars for his campaign from this sector
and ex-speaker Peter Vallone, whom, thanks the donations he has
received, has come out as an unconditional ally of building owners.
It was Vallone who was principally responsible for adopting Intro
38, about lead poisoning. Since its approval, this law has been
seen as protective of building owners.
In the Common Cause study, it is shown that the President of the
Rent Stabilization Association, Joe Strasburg, was Vallones
chief aide during the time that he served on the City Councils
Like Intro 101, when Intro 38 was approved, there was an alternative
proposed by the council member Stanley Michael, which was supported
by 34 council members and supported by health professionals. But
Vallone never allowed it to leave the committees, while he pushed
his own pro-real estate law forward, the study affirms.
Translated from Spanish by Erica Pearson
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